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Palestinian officials urge Turkey to oppose Israeli demolitions

Istanbul (QNN)- The leader of the Palestinian group Hamas on Saturday urged Turkish officials to oppose Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem, Anadolu Agency reported.

Ismail Haniyeh and other senior members of Hamas met Turkish officials and legislators, including Hasan Turan, the head of the Turkey-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group, in a visit to Istanbul for official talks.

According to a written statement by Hamas, Haniyeh pointed out during the meeting that the demolition by Israeli occupation of Palestinians’ homes and their deportation from Jerusalem, especially Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, must be stopped.

While noting Turkey’s “political weight” and “network of international and diplomatic relations capable of taking a positive action for Jerusalem,” Haniyeh called for a common stand against such “crimes against the Palestinian people” with other regional and international parliaments.

Haniyeh also said Israel’s decision to evict seven families in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood would be a “crime against humanity and a catastrophe” for the neighbourhood and its residents, who would be rendered homeless.

Since November 2008, Israeli occupation authorities have forcibly expelled five Palestinian families in Karem Al-Ja’oni section of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from their homes.

Today, an additional eight Palestinian families are under the imminent threat of being evicted from their homes.

These houses are all included in the 28 Palestinian homes designated for eviction to make way for a new Israeli settlement known as “Shimon HaTsadiq”.

A plan for the settlement, consisting of 200 housing units on 18 dunums, has already been submitted to the Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem.

In Batn Al Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, seven Palestinian families are under the imminent threat of being forcibly evicted from their homes.

They are part of 87 families designated for forcible house eviction in the neighborhood. An Israeli court had previously rejected the petition filed by the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Al-Hara Al-Wusta (central quarter) of Silwan, south of occupied East Jerusalem, and allowed “Ateret Cohanim” settler organizations to continue its procedures relevant to the immediate expelling of the seven Palestinian families.

The Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem has also asked Israeli courts to reactivate demolition orders relating to 119 of buildings housing 1,550 Palestinians in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.

The request was filed with an Israeli court three weeks ago. If approved, seven of the 119 houses in the al-Bustan neighborhood are at immediate risk of demolition.

Hundreds of Palestinian families are being threatened with evictions and house demolitions from their homes by illegal settler groups, fully supported by the Israeli government.

In the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan alone, homes that have been evicted of their Palestinian inhabitants, being replaced by illegal settler groups implanted in the middle of the Palestinian neighborhoods.

On Saturday, Turkey condemned the demolition, evacuation, and confiscation of Palestinian property by Israeli occupation in the occupied territories, noting that such illegal acts “demonstrate that Israel intends to consolidate its occupation rather than aiming for peace.”

“Israel’s recent decisions of forced eviction, demolition and confiscation targeting Palestinians in the occupied territories, in particular in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem, are the latest examples of Israeli steps in violation of international law,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“These illegal acts clearly demonstrate that Israel intends to consolidate its occupation rather than aiming for peace.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the acceleration of such steps by Israel at a time when the Palestinians are fighting against the adverse conditions created by the Covid-19 epidemic “further hurt everyone’s conscience.”

It called on the international community to show solidarity with the Palestinians against Israel’s expansionist policies.”

Turkey has long been a strong supporter and defender of the rights and the cause of the Palestinians.

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